• Puffins by Alan Tilmouth
  • Whitethroat by Alan Jack
  • Black Grouse by Chris Barlow

Meetings & Trips

Indoor Meetings

The club holds monthly indoor meetings between September and April that feature guest speakers on a wide-range of bird-related subjects.  Our meeting venue is Northern Rugby Club, McCracken Park, Great North Road, Newcastle, NE3 2DT. All meetings commence at 7.00pm and generally finish between 9.00pm-9.30pm, though a bar is available for post-meeting socialising.

Here are details of the presentations at the Indoor Meetings this Season, others to be arranged.

12th September 2019. Chris Wright – “Redpolls to Redstarts: ringing at Fontburn Reservoir”

For a relatively small site, the NWT nature reserve at Fontburn has a wide variety of birdlife. Regular ringing has been done there since 2013, and this talk describes some of the species using the site for breeding and on passage, and the contribution constant effort ringing makes in monitoring our bird populations

10th October 2019.  Iain Robson – “Taiwan”
Also the AGM.
14th November 2019. To be Confirmed.

12th December 2019.   The Hawk & Owl Trust – “Urban Peregrines”.  

9th January 2020.  Steve Race – “Wild Shetland”.  

13th February 2020. To be Confirmed.

12th March 2020.  Mike Henry – “Southern Sweden”.  

9th April 2020.   To be Confirmed.

Field Trips

The club arranges regular field trips mainly to local destinations. Most are generally one-day or half-day outings within and just outside of the club’s area  with transport by private car. All field trips offer the opportunity to meet other members and can be particularly beneficial to newcomers and younger members.

Sunday 28th April 2019
Langholm Harriers

Contact: Steve Anderson Email: seaswan@btinternet.com

Sunday 26th May 2019
Geltsdale RSPB Reserve

Contact: Steve Anderson Email: seaswan@btinternet.com

Saturday 22nd June 2019
Winnows Hill (Nightjars)

Contact: Steve Anderson Email: seaswan@btinternet.com

Sunday 18th August
Waders at Alnmouth (am) & Boulmer (pm)

Leader: Tim Dean, meet at Alnmouth Dunes Car Park 9-00am. See contacts page for email address.

Sunday 15th September 2019
Musselburgh, for Sea Duck, Grebes and Waders.

Leader: Steve Anderson. Please contact Steve by 13th Sept by email if you intend to go. See contacts page for email addresses.

Oct 2019 (date tbc)
Holy Island

Reviews for some NTBC Fields Trips 

Field Trip to Alnmouth and Boulmer  on the 18th August 2019 – by Tim Dean

Five of us gathered at Alnmouth beach car park for a walk around the Aln estuary followed in the afternoon along the shore at Boulmer. The focus was to be on waders but we started with a search through the terns gathering on the beach at Alnmouth. It is well known for terns to rest here just south of the estuary. We were lucky to find one Roseate Tern still present amongst the Common & Sandwich Terns, as many have already left having bred successfully on Coquet Island. 124 pairs this year a new record for the island. This was a new species for our youngest participant as Harry (aged 12)  was suitably impressed with the scope views. Walking along the northern edge of the estuary we stopped to watch two Little Egrets at close range in the harbour. Many common waders such as Redshank, Curlew & Lapwing were in good numbers. The Aln estuary is an important roost site for many species. Walking around to the bridge revealed some Black-tailed Godwits, a recent development as they now gather regularly here. Pam picked up two Greenshank near the bridge with another found further out & one also on the Hipsburn. Again the Aln sees good numbers of Greenshank each autumn. A picnic lunch was taken with views over the estuary. At one point every wader took to the sky but search as we did we could not locate the perpetrator. Likely to have been a Peregrine as one has been seen recently.

Harry and his dad accompanied me to Boulmer and although we managed to get caught in a sharp shower a brief walk here was enjoyed with Turnstone, Dunlin & a Bar-tailed Godwit seen. The Godwit was also much appreciated by Harry who had another tick under his belt. Not many pass through his home town of Doncaster!  Also offshore were a few Gannets & Kittiwakes. These visitors who were really appreciative of everything pointed out made the trip special as always a privilege to watch a young birder gradually build up his list. Am sure his first Roseate will be much remembered. A thank you drink was duly handed over to Tim at the Fishing Boat Inn at Boulmer. One of the best birding pubs in the county with easy views offshore from the terrace. A fine way to end a pleasant walk.

Field Trip to Kielder on the 15th  May 2016 – Review by Sally Lee
The day dawned sunny and still for our very first field trip with the club which augured well.  We met with Martin and 6 other members of the club and set off to walk round the arboretum where, we were reliably informed we would see Redstarts as there had been several pairs the previous weekend.  Alas, none were to be seen although one was to be heard but too far away. We did see Flycatchers, Chaffinches, Siskins and a variety of Tits although not in great numbers.  We then set off through the forest towards Deadwater Fell.  En route, an elusive Blackcap was spotted well hidden in the trees and the highlight of the day, a male Goshawk displaying which we stopped to watch for some time.  We then headed to the summit where we saw Meadow Pipits, Ravens and Grouse.  Next stop was lunch at the top of Deadwater Fell overlooking the stunning scenery.  It was downhill from there, not literally of course.  Rather than the obvious route down, we took the more adventurous mountain bike track down to the track. Walking back through the forest, we learned why the word owl and an arrow were painted on a tree.  For those that don’t know, it is so that when they are clearing woodland, anyone approaching from behind the tree knows to avoid it as there is an owl box on the other side.  Then it was down onto the disused railway line back into Kielder for a well earned pot of tea at the Castle.  For us, as new members, it was an extremely informative and interesting day out thanks to Martin and our fellow walkers.

Field Trip to Geltsdale on the 22nd May 2016 – Review by Sally Lee
The sun was shining while we ate breakfast before setting out for our second field trip with the club.  We were met at the Visitor’s car park by Steve Westerberg, RSPB manager at Geltsdale who had stepped in as guide for the day.  By now, the sky was a threatening grey.  Steve had a plan, a female Hen Harrier had been spotted displaying and building a nest on the north side of the reserve opposite Cold Fell so we would head up that way.  Luckily Steve had brought his trusty Land Rover Defender so the 6 of us piled in and headed off.  First was the off road adventure which eventually brought us to just below the viewing hut on Cold Fell.  We could hear the cuckoo and then it was spotted in a tree on the other side of the valley.  Down came the rain and hail that had been threatening so we waited it out in the Land Rover before heading  up the fell disturbing a Grouse and her chicks on the way.  We arrived at the hut and the sun came out.  Unfortunately, the Hen Harrier didn’t and nor did the Merlin.  We saw Roe Deer and a Green Hairstreak and learned a great deal about the research carried out at the reserve including one very dear to Steve’s heart, the tracking of Whinchats, the first research of its type to be carried out.  We headed back down and a Whinchat was heard and seen when Steve trained his scope on it so we could all have a look.  Not a lot else was seen when we stopped on the way down but we still enjoyed it.  Many thanks to Steve for sharing his vast knowledge of the area with us.